WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Florida residents and businesses affected by severe storms and flooding on August 15-26 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Acting Administrator Jeanne A. Hulit announced today.
Acting Administrator Hulit made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Rick Scott on Sept. 11, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Hernando County and the adjacent counties of Citrus, Pasco and Sumter in Florida.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Florida with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses of all sizes with federal disaster loans," said Acting Administrator Hulit. "Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."
"Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property," said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA's Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. SBA's customer service representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.
The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:
Brooksville City Hall
201 Howell Avenue
Brooksville, Florida 34601
Opening: Thursday, Sept. 19 at 8 a.m.
Hours: Thursday, Sept. 19 - Thursday, Sept. 26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. (closed Sunday)
Closing: Thursday, Sept. 26 at close of business
"Businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets," said Wilfredo Gonzalez, SBA's North Florida district director.
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, to make improvements that help prevent the risk of future property damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
Interest rates are as low as 1.937 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.875 percent for
non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant's financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Individuals and businesses unable to visit the center may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing email@example.com. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.sba.gov/disaster. Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 18, 2013. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 17, 2014.
For more information about the SBA's Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at www.sba.gov/disaster.
Contact: Michael Lampton
Phone: (404) 331-0333
Release Number: 13-753, FL 13755/13756
SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration